MakingComicsWithDazStudio: Free comicbook render engine? I like!

My 1st time with Daz
Click to see the render full size

I love me some Poser, but sometimes that’s just a bit too… well, accurate for my needs. Poser can create the photo-real out of the photo-unreal, if you see what I mean. While it’s possible to work some magic with the Cartoon render, I can just never get it quite right, and I’m hopeless at post-work. I want a simple solution, every time.

Here’s a case in point; I decided to do a little render work to create a few iconic images for Chariots & Champions; something to set the tone. I want the images to be dark grungey shots of menacing Orcs leaning against armoured cars holding baseball bats. I want pics of gnarly humans guarding a smashed tavern, and vampire Drow biker chics. But then, who doesn’t want those, eh? :)

Above all, I want the images to be comicbook; I want to make it clear that C&C is full of the kind of four-colour action you’d get in a comic, complete with simplified ideologies, clear cut us-versus-them morality, and simplified backgrounds that draw the eye straight to the action.

While wadering around DAZ 3D for inspiration and a solution to the “Poser won’t do this” problem, I decided to download DAZ Studio. Hey, it’s only a 20Mb download and it’s free, thinks I, so why not?

One quick snarf of the software, the Aiko model (also free), and the Dystopia City Blocks (also free. Do these people not want money?!), and I’ve got some models to render too, just in case my Poser stuff won’t import (they work fine, incidentally).

After a mere 30 minutes fiddling and learning how DAZ Studio thinks, I’ve rendered the image above in full manga comicbook glory. OK, it’s not what I want for C&C – I’ll still need to keep model hunting for that – but damn, that’s not a bad comic panel! Give me six shots like that and I’ve a page. Give me 60 and you’ve got a whole fricking comic.

The thing that’s most impressive is that this was done, start to finish, using a free renderer, with free models. By someone with only 30 minutes’ experience of the software. Sure, it’s not going to replace Poser, but for comicbook work, I’ll be using DAZ Studio in future, without a doubt.

Expect pics for Chariots & Champions as soon as my model hunt is over.

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